Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Prose Poem: Psalm of the Shadow for DVerse OLN and Beyond...

Tropea di Isola   Calabria

After Listening to a Requiem in February

In rooms overrun with
chimerical skeins of dust
the heart and soul lift off
on spangled currents
of morning.

What great loneliness it requires then,
what an expanse, polar,
with its blue tinge of death

To release even one note of such music
as a great mass’s  Rex Coelestis
dark birds calling and  ascendant, one body,
from the splintered tree.


Rising February wind,
Union Pacific sounding a call longer
than night

Daylight and memory are the afflictions.

The ablative absolute of language—
Spreading their wings, they were aloft--
salves the soul.

But how unredeemed we are!
The warring in the desert
where the Great Spring is asunder:
the soldier’s foot on the corpse
of a girl.

Perhaps long ago
we should have migrated
to another stone warmed
by a different star;

For it is the matriarch arctic penguin
leaving the egg on the feet
of her mate

Who swims off, to feed,
cascade of mothers taking
to the frigid water
in a clamor of agreement:

‘E vivere:  it is to live:  and to gorge:
‘E mangiare!

And then in a mandela of feathers
the fathers, eggs tucked under their bellies
turn their bodies to the storm,
one and then the next on the outer rim
cycling back into the pulsing thicket
Of the flock:

Look what they have to teach us!


Even so, the matriarch elephant
leads her family over the savannah
in the drought;
she weeps over the fallen calf
her tears rivulets in the cross-hatched

Of the one who discerns
the precise location of the spent marsh,
the thorny stubble that bruises the mouth.

And behold the snow leopard,
the hours it takes her
to drag her kill up the sheer cliffs of Everest
back to the lair where her survivor cub
languishes in hunger:
they ravish the meat, their blood rewarming
in an instant.


What has become of our will,
when we were a people, working one
for the other--

What do I leave at your feet?
What of your hunger aggrieves me?

We are the leaves of the oak tree
with its roots embedded in fathoms
of dark mud:
indelibly mortal, quick to bud, open,
drink in the sun and dying back,

We do not want to leave the ornate rooms
of the grand estate where
the imagination roams, corseted
into privilege
or Salzburg Cathedral
where a jubilant choir sings a requiem.

But who can bear the beauty
that pierces the skin, abrades the heart--
our own heavenly clamor when the goodness

In us climbs to its apogee, and we
come together singing in petition,
like all the garrisons of the star-cast night.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2012


Timoteo said...

3rd paragraph--My ex used to say, "Just shoot me," when contemplating a future prospect like that...and I would have to concur. Hold onto as much freedom and independence as you can forever...because a system that warehouses human beings past their "usefulness" strikes me as being akin to that little guy with the mustache and his gang.

Brian Miller said...

we all flee and return...and its echo are rather haunting...the stripping away of the road there at the end...and the shearing off of the angel wings...deng viceral and certainly gets the attention...tight prose jenne...

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenne! They are both wonderful poems. (I actually think I find the prose poem more striking--I think because it is a bit more troubled, and the images of the folded wings, and the down against the water are just such unique pictures and juxtapositions.)

They are both beautiful--the close of the first one an especially poignant part--the way you bring in all the different species, and the pierced skin, abraded heart.

Very fine. K.

Semaphore said...

In Japanese, the symbol for 'poem' is the same as for 'song'... and whenever I read through your poetry there is such a musicality that it underlines that Japanese precept. And yet, that musicality belies the the agony I know that you go through to choose le mot juste, that subtle craftsmanship that one must take so much pain to hide in the final presentation. As always, a beautiful piece.

Mystic_Mom said...

Jenne - as usual you draw me in with words and images, and leave me with the taste and feel of so much more. Wow...I'm in awe.

Heaven said...

I am here tonight to just let your words touch my lips and inspire my pen ~

You write beautifully and I am always in awed with the images you draw here ~

joanna said...

"What do I leave at your feet?
What of your hunger aggrieves me?"

you stir up deep thoughts with this one, Jenne. delicate & powerful all at the same time.